Study shows removing DRM increased music sales


Those crazy consumers… Placing more value on a less defective product. What will they think of next?


Actually the study seems to show that removing DRM makes almost no difference overall. Just look at figure 1 - you can see there is almost no trend in the data, possibly a 0.1% increase, but there is a constant line at 0.3% that will go through all the error bars.

Suppose you have two albums and DRM. Album A sells 1,000,000 copies a month, and album B sells 10 copies a month. Then you remove DRM and find you sell 1,000,000 copies of album A, and 13 copies of album B. This is the 30% increase being claimed.


Seems to me that the point was that the lawyers of the Copyright Cabals could leverage the impetuous greed of the record company executives and get them to spend huge amounts of their profits on fighting a cultural trend that loses them between Zero and negative 10%.

That reads kinda weird but means that piracy takes either nothing from their profits, or might actually add slightly (up to 10%) to their profits.

Even taking the more conservative figure, it turns out that the only real outlay the record company executives are making here is to the lawyers.

I think eventually the innate greed of the Record Company Executives will over-ride the state of victim hood they have been manipulated into by the lawyers of the Copyright Cabals and everything will return to the days of radio. When you could just record a mix tape from the broadcast if the DJ would keep their damn mouth shut between songs.

But, but, but … - that’s not what the lobbyists told me all these years!

The article seems to state that removing DRM helps because people are better able to share.

For me, removing DRM makes me more likely to buy it because I dislike DRM. I have made decisions to not purchase an album because it contains DRM.

While DRM is still prevalent in the book industry and elsewhere, most of the major labels are now in agreement that it’s not a good fit for music.

I think Tim Berners Lee didn’t get the memo. Could somebody get the memo to him? I think his logic processor is broken and he doesn’t get any memos. Thanks so much.

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Exactly my first reaction. Seems to me that this article shows that there is no statistically significant difference in sales when DRM is removed, since all of the error bars overlap.


The DRM itself would have no impact on piracy because the files shared by pirates allready has the DRM removed. The purpose of the DRM is to enforce licencing and distribution beyond the terms enforced by law. Example: Reselling a game = legal. Reselling a game w DRM is impossible because removing the DRM is illegal.

I’m sorry: why is this news at all?

The majors dropped DRM years ago. The industry in general has known for many years that going DRM-free is beneficial to long-tail/indie artists and labels, who (to paraphrase Tim O’Reilly) suffer from obscurity more than piracy. If the researcher had actually talked to the right people, she would have found out that this is nowhere near “the first real-world experiment of its kind.”

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